Why Choose a Suitcase?
One big reason why you'd want to choose a suitcase for your travel is the easy access. The large, D-shaped opening of a suitcase lends itself to easy organization, packing and unpacking.
If you're traveling with fragile items or valuables, a suitcase is usually a better choice than a backpack. The durable exterior, rigid frame and lockable zippers offer security and protection during the rigors of bag-checking and airline travel. For the most protective and durable suitcase, choose a hardside suitcase like Bric's Riccione suitcase.
Another benefit of a suitcases vs. a backpack is that they come in a variety of sizes. You can choose the right suitcase size for your trip to make travel as easy as possible, and carry-on suitcases are always a favorite option for light packers and short trips. The Bric's Pronto and Riccione Hardside suitcase lines, for instance, have suitcase sizes ranging from 20° to 30°.
Travelers who plan on staying in one location tend to pack a suitcase. However, the more destinations you add to your trip, the more unwieldy a suitcase can become. That's when it's time to start considering a backpack.
- Easy to organize
- Easy to pack and access
- Protects contents during travel and bag-check process
- Allows you to carry a backpack, as well
- Not hands free
- Can be unwieldy when traveling on sidewalks and rough pavement
- Fixed size (although expandable options are available)
Why Choose a Backpack?
A spacious backpack with an adjustable harness system is a great choice for adventurous travelers because it enables comfortable, hands-free carry in any setting. Whether you're backpacking through Europe or doing a little island hopping in the Caribbean, you can easily navigate any location with a backpack.
The other major benefit of a backpack is its versatility. Some backpacks can cinch down to a small, carry-on size, as well as expand out and up to accommodate as much as you can stuff into it. Choose a mid-sized backpack like Boreas Bolinas backpack for adventurous extended-weekend vacations. A larger backpack like Vaude's Astrum backpack is perfect for a long trip of active exploring, but is too big to use as a carry-on.
One of the biggest downsides of traveling with a backpack is that you can only wear one! When you use a rolling suitcase, you can also wear a backpack. If you're traveling with one backpack, you will need to use either a purse or messenger bag if you want another hands-free bag during your travel. Another thing to keep in mind is that a backpack does not provide the security that a suitcase offers.
- Hands-free convenience
- Very adjustable size
- Comfortable, adjustable and easy carry in any setting
- Versatility during travel and exploring
- Can be hard to organize and access items inside
- Packed items not protected from impact or theft
- You can only wear one!
Still can't decide? Consider a Suitcase-Backpack like Eagle Creek's Doubleback Rolling Suitcase.
While I wouldn't recommend this versatile option for the mobile backpacker, it's perfect for the traveler who wants to keep her hands free when traveling through new cities or navigating a busy airport.
Want more in-depth information about choosing the right luggage for your trip? Check out our luggage and travel guide.